Personal take-home point from Prof. Davis’s lecture:
Demand filters. Simple but critical strategies for gauging community interest. Example litmus test: Is your target user willing to invest money, land, time, and/or labor into the project? Another important factor to determine: Where is the threshold value for this filter? E.g. the willingness to donate $0.25 may not necessarily indicate that your target group is invested in your project. But what about $25? $250? What’s the threshold value you need to set in the context of your specific project conditions so that the willingness to invest money does give you an accurate, honest readout for whether the community would be willing to see the project through and would eventually take initiatives in its maintenance down the road.
Other exciting parts of lecture: SUCCESS STORIES where we see just this—communities taking the project into their own hands and taking responsibility for its upkeep. This lecture redefined sustainability for me in a small but pivotal way: it’s not about engineering an everlasting device insusceptible to wear & tear, but rather, setting up a situation where the community—the end user—is incentivized to handle repairs as needed to sustain the project.
Update on prototype testing:
Our aspirator + pump setup is working and actually drawing up much more chlorine than needed. The prototyping team as put together a beautiful setup for testing all the different bits of our chlorinating device, including a constant-level regulator tank fashioned from two water coolers. (So resourceful—go team!) The next step on the testing end would be to try out the various aspirator holders to see if we can bring the chlorine dosing level down to friendlier concentrations. Get pumped—we’re reaching some exciting milestones!